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Classics

GD Mags

11.26.07 | Comment?

graphis.jpg

Kimberly Crofts at Publication Design—a teaching blog for students of graphic design at Billy Blue in Australia has found some design-related Flikr sets—including this collection of old Graphis magazine covers and pages.

In Designing Magazines the Book (DMTB—as opposed to Designing Magazines the Blog, DMTB) Editor Joyce Rutter Kaye writes about the evolving design of Print magazine. I wanted very much to include an essay on the design of an image-driven magazine—preferably graphic design, because of the challenges involved in building graphically varied pages that show visual work respectfully. I think it would be tough for any designer to build great pages that take a back seat to work that may be out of sync with the visual personality of the magazine. It’s a unique problem—while there is journalism about journalism and writing about writing, these more easily and more commonly share an intellectual space than design about design.

Print was a great choice for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is that many American designers have access to a groaning shelf of examples from the magazine’s run. But, I’m not the only one who has noticed or been intrigued by the challenges inherent in designing a design magazine. GD magazine pages tend to end up in monographs sooner or later. Here are four of my favorites, all but Emigre published after suspension of the magazine that inspired the book:

U&lc: Influencing Design and Typography This book reproduces pages and essays from the late lamented U&lc magazine, once the proud and iconoclastic ambassador for the International Typeface Corporation.

Emigre: Graphic Design into the Digital Realm Rudy VanDerLans’ and Zuzana Licko’s Emigre caught the post-punk computer-driven design revolution in all its glory. In its last years the magazine morphed into a much less visual publication than can be seen in this book, which shows funky early Macintosh design at its dot matrix best.

Fine Print on Type Fine Print, a British journal of typography was a wonderfully well-written and engaging publication for type geeks. Essays, dating from 1977 to 1988, capture type design in the last years of the type trade.

Typographica Despite the name, the London-based Typographica was a broadly-focused design and visual culture magazine which published from 1949–1967. This book started out as Rick Poynor’s master’s thesis at the Royal College of Art—and does not have the polish of his later prose. Nevertheless the book is well worth reading, and has many lovely pages from the magazine. Influences for the later U&lc and Baseline can be found on these pages. Like Fine Print on Type, Typographica is now out of print.

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